Dear Prof. Said Zeidani, Vice president for academic affairs
Your Excellency   Dr. Ahmed Majdalani, minister of  labor
 Dear distinguished guests
Ladies & Gentlemen

Good morning to you all

I’m greatly honored and pleased to welcome you all to this conference:

The 1st Palestinian conference on Electromagnetic Radiation.

This is the first conference on radiation in our country, that brings experts from the academic world (local and international), governmental institutions, industry and international agencies and organizations. The conference is co-organized by the Center for Radiation Science & Technology and The Department of  Earth & Environmental Sciences at Al-Quds University.

This conference deals with a timely and  very important theme, “Environmental electromagnetic radiation, with focus on Radiofrequency radiation and Health effects of EMF. We need to gain new knowledge and raise awareness on EMR, the conference offers a unique opportunity to share scientific experience and discuss problems related to EMF and, I hope This conference will  inspire new research and joint work. 

Ladies & Gentelmen

Its a great pleasure and privilege to have Dr. Polo Vecchia (President of the International Commission on non ionizing radiation protection, Dr. Emilie Van Deventer, the Team Leader of Radiation Program of the WHO, and Dr. Bernard Veyret, a senior world scientist on Bioelectromagnetics, among us today, to share with us the latest progress in international EMF research. Follow colleagues and researchers from Palestinian Universities will introduces us to the current status of electromagnetic issues in Palestine.

            The fast spread out of telecommunication technology, especially mobile phones and their base stations and the electrical and electronic appliances has increased the environmental pollution by electromagnetic radiation. As a result, the public has become concerned from possible health effects of this non-ionizing radiation. In response to growing public health concerns, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched an International project in 1996 to assess the health and environmental effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields. Palestine was one of the first Arab countries that participated in this very important scientific project through the CRST at Al-Quds University. It is a fact, that our  membership in this project is one of the main pillars for organizing this conference. Here, I would like to thank Dr. Mike Repacholi, the former leader  of the project, who encouraged us to join the EMF project in the year 2004 and thanks also to all my colleagues in the international advisory committee for their  help and  support, since the project leadership always  provide us with updates on EMF issues.

 Dear Conference Participants;

Work in and research in the field of radiation at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences of Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, started  in the year 1998. The Department started to develop its  academic program to offer theoretical and  practical knowledge about radiation sciences. The area of radiation science has become one of the main research interest in some of  our Master programs . Afterwards, the Department has established a unit for radiation research which was developed to become a centre for radiation science and technology at Al-Quds University.

Prof. Sari Nusseibeh, the president of Al-Quds University has issued resolution  no.: AU/224/5/2005, about establishing a center for radiation sciences and technology. The resolution states that: 

The main objective of the centre is to assimilate, transfer and settle-in  radiation sciences and technologies as well as to develop the peaceful uses  of atomic energy at the national level in all dimensions. The center cooperates with local and international  institutions, WHO, IAEA,  and the Arab atomic energy agency.

Ladies & Gentlemen

The main focus of the public concern about electromagnetic radiation in Palestine is the mobile telephony base stations, there is also a growing public interest in ELF (extremely low frequencies) resulted mainly from electric power lines.  Concern from mobile phone itself is being in the third place. In response to these concerns, the following activities has been carried out since the year 2003 by the CRST :

  • A study of the levels of electromagnetic emissions from mobile phone base station towers in the West Bank & Gaza, based on simulation by commercially available software, RF- Map from Telstra 
  • Translating related information and fact sheets of the international EMF project into Arabic
  • Study of the levels of all sources of RF in the West Bank based on real measurements (now we know for example that, the main contributor to the exposure from RF in Palestine is FM radio broadcasting either indoor and outdoor
  • Constructing an interactive web page to provide services the public on EMF issues
  • Now starting a project on indoor RF exposure, starting from Hebron city
  • We can say now, that we are about to publish an outdoor radiation exposure map from RF in the Whole West Bank
  • Establishing a nation wide awareness program in cooperation with our colleagues from the Universities of An Najah, Polytechnic University in Hebron , Arab American University in Jeneen and The Palestine Environment Quality Authority. This program performed about  one hundred lectures, workshops and meetings with public all over the West Bank.
  • CRST also issues official technical reports to the local councils upon their request.

In Palestine, there are no specific laws regarding exposure of public to EMF. Existing policy is to adopt ICNIRP guidelines. The Environment Quality Authority which is the responsible governmental body, issued a mechanism of EQA in granting approvals for the mobile phones base stations. In 2009 EQA introduced new regulations in which the adopted exposure limit to RF is 250 times below ICNIRP.

Ladies & Gentlemen

I’m sure, that this conference will be a memorable and highly educational, it will help us to better understand the issues of EM radiation

Last but not least, I would like to express my cordial thanks to:

Prof. Sari Nusseibeh  President of Al-Quds University,

Organizing and scientific committee, namely Dr. Jawad Hasan and Goldesta Rassas

Public Relations and Cultural Affairs at Al-Quds University

All people who exerted any effort to make the conference successful 

Thank you very much for your attention

Jerusalem, 7 December 2010